Chapter 11: Identifying and Selecting Samples, Informants and Cases

A.    Checklist for Selecting Respondents

  • Have you thought through who might hold the answer to your questions and how you will open opportunities to gather information from them?
  • Is your question best answered by a population/ sample, key informants, cases or a combination of the above?
  • Can you locate and access your respondents?
  • Will you need to sample? If so, have you:

Defined your population?

Constructed a sample frame?

Determined appropriate sample size?

Employed an appropriate sampling strategy?

If you want your sample to be representative, have you considered strategies for ensuring you will not have a coverage error / non-response bias?

  • If you will be working with key informants, have you:

Considered using individuals from a variety of roles, including experts, the experienced, leaders, the observant, gossips, those with secondary experience, insiders, stool pigeons and ‘ex’s?

Negotiated potential informant agendas?

Remembered your ethical responsibilities?

  • If working with a case, have you:

Defined your case?

Selected an individual case or series of cases that meet your definition and sits within your case boundaries?